If you regularly follow FabYOUlous Life, you no doubt saw our Fab Factors series in which we featured twelve different personality/character traits that (when cultivated) can lead to a more FabYOUlous life (if you haven’t seen that series; WHERE have you been? Seriously. No worries though, you can check it out here.)
While incorporating those Fab Factors into your life certainly can lead to a greater experience of FabYOUlousness, there are also smaller tweaks that each one of us can make in our everyday lives that can reap major dividends when it comes to creating a truly FabYOUlous life. In this new series, we will feature one FabYOUlous change per month that will help you to reach your full FabYOUlous potential. To kick this series off strong, our first FabYOUlous change is…think BIGGER.
You’ve no doubt heard the notion that everything (and we mean everything) in life begins with a single solitary thought. Everything from the bagel that you had for breakfast to the iPhone in your hand began as someone else’s thought. Some thoughts lead to great discoveries, inventions and revolutions; but for the most part, too many of us spend our time and mental energy thinking small, and therefore not experiencing anything near the level of FabYOUlousness that we are capable of experiencing in life. It is time to change this tendency. If you truly want to begin living within the fullest expression of your FabYOUlousness it is time to start thinking BIG
In order to expand your thinking and open yourself up to greater possibilities, it is time to start thinking bigger about…
- your ability to think creatively
- your daily tasks and objectives
- your ability to solve problems
- your contributions to society and the world at large
- your capacity to provide value to others
- your ability to overcome challenges
- your overreaching life purpose and meaningful goals
In order to do this however; you must first learn to ditch the negative habits that have become an ingrained part of your life and that inhibit the ability to think BIG. These limiting habits include…
- Perfectionism–by obsessing over getting things perfect, you rob yourself of the ability to see the big picture
- Excuse making–this keeps you in a spiral of focusing on what you don’t want to do, be, have or achieve. Instead, expand your thinking and take responsibility for the big picture vision that you have for your life
- Procrastination–keeps you from thinking big by holding you back and preventing you from moving forward in life
- Overanalyzation–keeps you mired in minutiae and therefore unable to see the broader scope of a situation
- Short term thinking–keeps you so focused on the immediate that it prevents you from being able to see the long-term and potentially better solutions that are a few steps further along the path
- Negativity–it is impossible to envision big possibilities while possessing a negative attitude
Thinking big requires having the ability to view life from the perspective of someone who has no limitations and/or fears. It requires holding fast to the belief that the universe is conspiring to work things together in favor of your aspirations. This kind of belief system often runs contrary to the negative programming that so many of us have running through our brains 24/7 and therefore, can be a challenge to overcome. However; like any habit, changing your thinking from small and limiting to BIG and expansive can be accomplished with persistent and intentional actions. In order to make the change and begin thinking BIGGER, start putting the following actions into practice in your life…
Small Steps to Thinking Big
1.) Create a BIG vision for your life. One of my favorite ways to do this is to create a vision board for my life but in order for this to work, the vision board has to be filled with images and phrases that excite me and get my creative juices flowing.
This is an image of my vision board. As you can see…there is nothing small about it. I have pictures of a beautiful beach mansion and a gorgeous mountain home (because clearly–I need both) as well as a picture of a small yacht, a bathroom with a fireplace and jacuzzi tub and several empowering phrases.
Some people will look at my vision board and think “yeah right–this chick is delusional” but I don’t care. Instead of worrying about what other people might think of my big visions, I instead focus upon how good and energized these images make me feel and upon the creativity and innovation that they foster in my life.
Don’t allow yourself to get sucked into the boredom of playing it safe when it comes to creating a vision for your life. Instead, push the limits, expand your comfort zone and let your imagination run wild. Sure, some people will think you’ve lost your marbles–but they also thought that about Leonardo Davinci, the Wright brothers and John Casey (the man who came up with the original concept for the iPhone). When you let yourself dream and create a vision for your life based upon possibilities instead of limitations, you allow the floodgates of creativity and innovation to pour into your life.
2.) Look forward, not backwards. There is a reason that your car’s front windshield is big compared to the size of the rear view mirror. That’s because, when driving, where you are going is far more important than where you’ve been. The same is true in life. Yes, your past is important in that it helped to shape you into the person that you currently are, however; staying mired in your difficult past (or constantly reliving your cherished “glory days”) will prevent any sustained forward movement in your life.
Big thinking requires forward thinking. Big thinkers have mastered the ability of thinking several steps ahead–oftentimes, several years in advance. For example–I realize that many of the things on my vision board are likely not going to happen tomorrow. However; focusing on my BIG end-game helps me to better strategize and conceptualize ideas that can help to move me forward toward my goals. People who think BIG are able to view life as a game of chess and are therefore able to plot their next potential moves well in advance.
3.) Speak it. The language that you use on a daily basis is a reflection of what is going on with your internal psyche. If your words are filled with criticism, worry or complaints, then clearly you need to do an overhaul of your attitude. Your words breathe either life or death into your situation so use them as a tool for transformation rather than of destruction. Replace negativity with empowering words and phrases that are focused on BIG ideas, solutions, gratitude and expanding possibilities. Before long, you’ll notice that your life has begun to reflect the new positive direction that your words have called forth. If you’d like suggestions on how to effectively use positive affirmations in your life, check out my Affirmations Board on Pinterest.
4.) Focus on solutions. What you focus on expands. If you spend your time and energy focusing on problems, obstacles and difficulties; you will experience a greater number of problems, obstacles and difficulties. BIG thinkers on the other hand, have learned to use the power of focus to expand possibilities and find solutions. They also hone the skill of thinking outside the box so that they can see big solutions that others would never even dream of.
5.) Make time to think. It’s hard to become a BIG thinker when you barely have ten minutes of free time per day to call your own. In order to cultivate the habit of BIG thinking, you must learn to take control of your schedule so that you can carve out dedicated time for your thoughts, ideas, plans and goals. For me, my “think time” often comes when I’m in my car driving to Denver for meetings, or I’ll grab my laptop and notebook and head to a coffee shop (by myself) to do my BIG thinking. Some people do their best thinking when they are hiking in nature or in a quiet house before the sun comes up. Figure out what works for you and then make it a point to pencil the time in on your calendar (so that it feels official).
Just because I have created space in my life for dedicated “think time” (for suggestions on how to create space in your own life, click here), doesn’t mean that all of my BIG ideas cooperate and come to me only during those specific time slots. Sometimes they’ll come to me as I’m chatting with a stranger in line at the post office or as I’m loading a pile of laundry into the dryer. For this reason, I have adopted the habit of carrying a small notepad and pen around with me whenever it is feasible to do so. Doing this has helped me to cultivate the habit of capturing ideas, thoughts and inspirations as they naturally occur throughout my day. I have notepads in each of my purses, in my car, on my nightstand etc. and they have made a huge difference in the number of BIG ideas that I have been able to retain. This drives my young adult sons crazy because they keep telling me that it would be so much easier to just enter memos into my iPhone. For me though, something about actually writing my thoughts down helps to solidify them more firmly into my consciousness. Maybe I’ll eventually be able to transition this practice to my phone but for now, I like my notepads. Regardless of what method you choose to incorporate, the important thing is that you set up some kind of structure in your life that will allow you to create space in your schedule to do your BIG thinking and that you have an accessible method for capturing your BIG thoughts and ideas.
6.) Keep the faith. BIG thinkers are not people who have never failed. In fact, by nature of design, BIG thinkers are often the ones in society who have failed the most because they are tho ones who are out experimenting and trying new things in life. The thing that differentiates BIG thinkers from the masses is that BIG thinkers don’t give up after experiencing failure. Instead, they use failure as a way to gather valuable data so that their next attempt will have a higher likelihood of being successful. They maintain a high level of faith and enthusiasm for their big ideas and don’t allow small thoughts from shallow minds distract them.
While thinking BIG may feel a bit “over the top” or disingenuous at first, it is a change that when implemented and acted upon can make a BIG difference in the level of FabYOUlousness you experience in your life. Start this month to add more power and oomph to your thought life and cultivate the practice of thinking BIG.